LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kobe Bryant scored 26 of his 39 points in a dynamic second half, Pau Gasol added 17 points and 11 rebounds, and the weary Los Angeles Lakers gritted out a 97-90 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.
Matt Barnes had 16 points and six rebounds before fouling out for the Lakers, who won their fifth straight home game while playing their NBA-high ninth game in 13 days.
Los Angeles bounced back from a passionless first half with another strong effort from Bryant, who has three straight 30-point games. The Lakers outlasted the injury-depleted Warriors in the fourth quarter for their fifth win in seven games.
Monta Ellis scored 18 points and David Lee had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Warriors, who have lost seven straight road games to the Lakers.
Rookie Klay Thompson scored 14 points as Golden State played without high-scoring guard Stephen Curry, who sprained his right ankle Wednesday in San Antonio, and center Andris Biedrins, who also has an injured right ankle.
Bryant’s two missed layups in the opening minutes were another reminder of the 13-time All-Star’s struggles with a torn ligament in his right wrist. Before the game, Lakers coach Mike Brown acknowledged Bryant is receiving painkilling injections before every game, but said he isn’t worried about Bryant’s ability to hold up during the jam-packed NBA schedule.
Golden State led 39-35 after an unsightly first half for both teams, who combined for 23 turnovers.
Bryant heated up after halftime, scoring 17 points during the third quarter on a variety of jumpers and drives. Barnes also stepped up in the second half, playing perhaps his best game under the Lakers’ new coaching staff.
Nate Robinson scored nine points two days after signing with the Warriors, who scored eight consecutive points to trim the Lakers’ late 11-point lead to 85-82 with 3½ minutes left. Los Angeles responded with Barnes’ fast-break layup sandwiched between two quick baskets from Gasol, putting the Lakers back in control.
Kwame Brown had 13 points for the Warriors while enduring the usual cascade of boos from the Staples Center crowd for the former Lakers big man. Golden State hasn’t beaten the Lakers at Staples Center since March 23, 2008, losing 32 of the last 35 road meetings overall.
The Lakers’ ineptitude from 3-point range is among their biggest problems. After a franchise-record 0-for-11 performance in Portland one night earlier, the Lakers missed their first six 3-pointers against the Warriors, running their skid to 0 for 22, before Troy Murphy hit a 3 late in the second quarter.
NOTES: Thompson is the son of Mychal Thompson, the longtime Lakers big man and current broadcaster for the club. Klay Thompson scored a Pac-10 tournament-record 43 points for Washington State at Staples Center last March. ... Lakers F Josh McRoberts missed his third consecutive game with a sprained left big toe. Barnes started in his place. ... Fans near courtside included Charlize Theron, Vanessa Hudgens and Warriors owner Peter Guber.